Picture of a yellow bus


Transportation and Other Activities

How do we increase students’ safety outside the classroom?


With specific health considerations in place to reduce the exposure to and the spread of COVID-19, some non-classroom based activities will merit particular attention from LEAs. Among them, transportation, sports, and band and choir, off-campus school trips, and school dances and large assemblies will require special attention as they involve multiple groups of students.

School buses serving K-12 populations are considered a school setting and accordingly masking is strongly recommended at this time, but not required.


  • Transporting Individuals Who Are Sick or Have Symptoms While in School: LEAs should not assume students and staff will be able to provide their own transportation under those circumstances, and thus LEAs may want to plan accordingly. 
  • Ventilation in Transportation: LEAs may want to increase air circulation as much as possible by opening windows and/or roof hatches, but do so only with first consideration of students with other medical concerns (e.g., students with asthma or allergies, who may be assigned seating at the front of the bus with windows up to avoid exposure to environmental irritants). 
  • Additional Local Requirements: LEAs may want to check with local health agencies and/or educational authorities as they may have additional requirements beyond state and federal requirements.


The requirements and recommendations in CDPH’s guidance apply to all extracurricular activities that are operated or supervised by schools, and all activities that occur on a school site, whether or not they occur during school hours, including, but not limited to, sports, band, chorus, and clubs.

Face Coverings: Indoor mask use remains an effective layer in protecting against COVID-19 infection and transmission, including during sports, music, and related activities, especially activities with increased exertion and/or voice projection, or prolonged close face-face contact.  Accordingly:

  • Masks are strongly recommended indoors at all times for teachers, referees, officials, coaches, and other support staff.
  • Masks are strongly recommended indoors for all spectators and observers. 
  • Masks are strongly recommended indoors at all times when participants are not actively practicing, conditioning, competing, or performing.  Masks are also strongly recommended indoors while on the sidelines, in team meetings, and within locker rooms and weight rooms. 
  • When actively practicing, conditioning, performing, or competing indoors, masks are strongly recommended by participants even during heavy exertion, as practicable. Individuals using instruments indoors that cannot be played with a mask (e.g., wind instruments) are strongly recommended to use bell coverings and maintain a minimum of 3 feet of physical distancing between participants.  If masks are not worn (or bell covers are not used) due to heavy exertion, it is strongly recommended that individuals undergo screening testing at least once weekly, unless they had COVID-19 in the past 90 days. An FDA-authorized antigen test, PCR test, or pooled PCR test is acceptable for evaluation of an individual’s COVID-19 status.
  • Stricter Local Rules: Local health departments and school districts may have stricter rules and should be consulted to confirm what is allowed.



School dances, large assemblies, and other school-based crowded events have the potential to cause substantial spread of COVID-19 within and beyond the school community. Schools are encouraged to consult with local health officials before deciding to host such events, particularly in communities where COVID-19 remains highly prevalent and/or vaccination rates remain low. 



For more information about how this tool was created and answers to other questions, see the FAQ section.  

This page was last updated on March 12, 2022.

The Health & Safety Guidebook for California LEAs
The Health & Safety Guidebook for California LEAs was developed in collaboration with the
California State Board of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and other technical assistance partners.